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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>FAIRNESS: November 29, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" /></p>\n<p>It&rsquo;s Thanksgiving week in a country whose warring political tribes are not much inclined to giving thanks. But any American with a reasonable historic perspective can easily find reasons to do so.</p>\n<p> FOR ONE thing, it&rsquo;s clear that we are a much fairer nation than we were in the past. Women, black Americans, immigrants and minorities of any perceptible kind are treated more fairly and in a more friendly manner than was the case within the memory of many of us now living.<br />\n Evidence of this comes from the strained attempts of those who criticize the country and desperately insist that things are just as bad as they ever were. The New York Times&rsquo; The 1619 Project, for example, insists that anti-black racism is the central theme of American history. Author Ta-Nehisi Coates seems to argue that American racism is as strong today as ever &mdash; and always will be.<br />\n A more sensible estimate comes via an interview by World Socialist Web Site&rsquo;s Tom Mackaman of Princeton historian James McPherson, the nation&rsquo;s premier Civil War historian. The Times, surprisingly, did not interview McPherson for its 1619 Project articles, which he called &ldquo;a very unbalanced, one-sided account.&rdquo;<br />\n Slavery and racism were part of the American story, he argued, but so are anti-slavery and civil rights movements. And &ldquo;the idea that racism is a permanent condition, well that&rsquo;s just not true,&rdquo; he said. You don&rsquo;t have to match McPherson&rsquo;s mastery of the subject &mdash; few do &mdash; to know that&rsquo;s true.<br />\n Most black Americans, the group with the most firsthand exposure to examples of anti-black racism &mdash; agree with him. Political polling shows that any increase in those believing that racism is an impenetrable barrier to black Americans comes not from blacks but from liberal white college graduates.<br />\n In his New York Times blog, Thomas Edsall cites research showing many black voters have shifted from blaming racial discrimination for blacks&rsquo; statistical disadvantages to blaming individual-based behavior.<br />\n Since Donald Trump&rsquo;s election, affluent white college graduates have increasingly blamed racism. As evidence they often cite 1930s New Deal housing programs&rsquo; &ldquo;redlining&rdquo; and the 1955 murder of Emmett Till. This desperate hunt for unfairness in the distant past and the insistence that nothing has changed are pure virtue signaling, untethered to observations of contemporary American life.<br />\n Actual contemporary evidence indicates blacks are doing better in a fairer society. Crime rates, incarceration rates and teen pregnancy rates are way down from the 1990s, as Columbia undergraduate Coleman Hughes writes in Quillette. And bachelor&rsquo;s degrees and life expectancies are way up. Not entirely unconnected with this is the perhaps politically awkward fact that lower-income and minority Americans have been experiencing record-low unemployment and higher-than-average wage gains during the last three years.</p>\n<p> COMPLAINTS still come in saying that social mobility is decreasing, and that various elite educational and economic categories do not contain the same percentages of blacks and some other minorities as the larger society. But it is an illusion of social engineers that a free society can be arranged with identical percentages of every identifiable group in every identifiable category. And it is a fact &mdash; a melancholy fact, perhaps, but a fact &mdash; that an increasingly fair society will have a decreasing degree of social mobility.<br />\n That&rsquo;s because in a fair society, people tend to end up in places where they started off. In a society like ours, with increasing assortative mating (people marrying those with similar interests and abilities), both nature and nurture &mdash; hereditary traits and child-rearing practices &mdash; tend to produce a generation of relatively few people with the capacity and inclination to climb, or fall down from, the socioeconomic ladder.<br />\n The good news is that our advanced and increasingly fair society has many such ladders and many fewer barriers. And as a recent academic study published by the National Academy of Sciences finds: &ldquo;Americans overestimate the intergenerational persistence in income ranks. They overestimate economic prospects for children from rich families and underestimate economic prospects for those from poor families.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> MANY academics and journalists seem fixated on income inequality and the gap between billionaires and others. Ordinary Americans seem more concerned about fairness &mdash; they embrace equal treatment and reject racial quotas and preferences &mdash; and about showing equal respect to fellow citizens regardless of income or wealth. This is all reason for thanks, in my view, in an increasingly fair nation &mdash; one that can get fairer still if social engineers stay out of the way.</p>\n<p> Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.</p>\n', created = 1575837853, expire = 1575924253, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:fa04e86b9bf3b1b3d564bb452fb5437a' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This week&#39;s Conservative Focus . . . Democratic Debate</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" /></p>\n<p>The world&rsquo;s oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That&rsquo;s a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every presidential election but one for a half century (1944-92) but has voted Democratic in the six elections since.</p>\n<p> IT&rsquo;S AN APT location for a party increasingly dependent on and dominated by white college-graduate voters, even as it has lost ground in heartland factory towns and blue-collar precincts.<br />\n As I argue in my just-published book, &ldquo;How America&rsquo;s Political Parties Change (And How They Don&rsquo;t),&rdquo; the Democratic Party has, since its founding in 1832, been a coalition of out-groups, of people who are considered atypical Americans but can, if they stick together, be a national majority.<br />\n But holding these disparate groups together can be tricky, since they often disagree on important issues. Poignant example: flailing candidate Beto O&rsquo;Rourke&rsquo;s insistence on denying tax exemptions to churches that don&rsquo;t support same-sex marriage.<br />\n That could close down lots of historically black churches, Orthodox synagogues and Muslim mosques. So you have a clear-cut disagreement between two overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies: secular-minded white college grads and traditionally religious black church members.<br />\n National Democrats, eager to include even splinter groups, concocted rules allowing candidates polling at only 2 percent on the debate stage &mdash; which incentivizes those with little support to attack a front-runner. In the first three debates, the target was Joe Biden. In Westerville, it was Elizabeth Warren.<br />\n Warren&rsquo;s support comes disproportionately from white college grads, and her &ldquo;I have a plan for that&rdquo; proposals, while theoretically aimed at those with modest incomes, have appealed mostly to the upscale. But her specificity vanishes when it comes to the price tag for her version of Bernie Sanders&rsquo; original &ldquo;Medicare for All.&rdquo;</p>\n<p> PETE Buttigieg, doing well with high-education Iowans, challenged her stubborn, Trump-like refusal to admit, as Sanders does, that middle-class &ldquo;taxes will go up.&rdquo; &ldquo;No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Senator Warren is putting forward,&rdquo; the South Bend mayor said in his attack. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sorry, Elizabeth,&rdquo; Amy Klobuchar, who hasn&rsquo;t clicked in the polls, chimed in. &ldquo;I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we&rsquo;re gonna send the invoice.&rdquo;<br />\n The closest Warren came to responding was when she said, &ldquo;(C)osts will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.&rdquo; She shows obvious relish in proposing a 3% wealth tax on the very rich as well as federal and worker oversight of large corporations. It&rsquo;s &ldquo;wokenomics,&rdquo; said liberal commentator Van Jones.<br />\n But that &ldquo;urge to punish&rdquo; &mdash; a phrase from the New York Post&rsquo;s Michael Goodwin &mdash; can seem unattractive and may repel otherwise-liberal voters in the most affluent suburbs, where Sanders support flagged four years ago. &nbsp;<br />\n Going into the debate, Warren looked well positioned to gobble up votes that had gone to Sanders before his Oct. 1 heart attack. But while Warren was pushed on the defensive, Sanders spoke loudly and vigorously, and he&rsquo;s scheduled to be endorsed by freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar over the weekend. It looks like Warren will continue to face strong opposition from the socialist left.<br />\n Other Democrats were tussling over other issues that tend to pit one Democratic constituency against another. Cory Booker backed taxpayer-paid abortions while Tulsi Gabbard, echoing 1990s Bill Clinton, said abortion should be &ldquo;safe, legal and rare.&rdquo; Buttigieg, while rejecting Medicare for All, praised the assault weapons ban and called for packing the Supreme Court, which Biden loudly opposed.<br />\n For two generations, Democrats have been skeptical about many military interventions and usually supportive of free speech. At this debate, Biden and Buttigieg decried President Donald Trump&rsquo;s Syria troop withdrawal over Gabbard&rsquo;s strong disagreement. For reasons that remain unclear, Kamala Harris repeated her call for Twitter to close down Trump&rsquo;s account &mdash; something many Republicans wish had been done some time ago but that suggests a disturbing relish for suppressing speech. Joe Biden was questioned, gingerly, about his son Hunter Biden&rsquo;s $600,000 Ukrainian gas company gig &mdash; a subject Democrats and NBC anchors seem desperate to avoid.</p>\n<p> LAST WEEK, I wrote that Elizabeth Warren was the Democrats&rsquo; faute de mieux front-runner. We&rsquo;re still waiting to see who, if anyone, is mieux.</p>\n<p> Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.</p>\n<p> October 18, 2019</p>\n', created = 1575837854, expire = 1575924254, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:db22191d985aba12ac15d6ddde38f427' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: October 18, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>The world&rsquo;s oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That&rsquo;s a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every presidential election but one for a half century (1944-92) but has voted Democratic in the six elections since.</p>\n<p> IT&rsquo;S AN APT location for a party increasingly dependent on and dominated by white college-graduate voters, even as it has lost ground in heartland factory towns and blue-collar precincts.<br />\n As I argue in my just-published book, &ldquo;How America&rsquo;s Political Parties Change (And How They Don&rsquo;t),&rdquo; the Democratic Party has, since its founding in 1832, been a coalition of out-groups, of people who are considered atypical Americans but can, if they stick together, be a national majority.<br />\n But holding these disparate groups together can be tricky, since they often disagree on important issues. Poignant example: flailing candidate Beto O&rsquo;Rourke&rsquo;s insistence on denying tax exemptions to churches that don&rsquo;t support same-sex marriage.<br />\n That could close down lots of historically black churches, Orthodox synagogues and Muslim mosques. So you have a clear-cut disagreement between two overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies: secular-minded white college grads and traditionally religious black church members.<br />\n National Democrats, eager to include even splinter groups, concocted rules allowing candidates polling at only 2 percent on the debate stage &mdash; which incentivizes those with little support to attack a front-runner. In the first three debates, the target was Joe Biden. In Westerville, it was Elizabeth Warren.<br />\n Warren&rsquo;s support comes disproportionately from white college grads, and her &ldquo;I have a plan for that&rdquo; proposals, while theoretically aimed at those with modest incomes, have appealed mostly to the upscale. But her specificity vanishes when it comes to the price tag for her version of Bernie Sanders&rsquo; original &ldquo;Medicare for All.&rdquo;<br />\n Pete Buttigieg, doing well with high-education Iowans, challenged her stubborn, Trump-like refusal to admit, as Sanders does, that middle-class &ldquo;taxes will go up.&rdquo; &ldquo;No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Senator Warren is putting forward,&rdquo; the South Bend mayor said in his attack. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m sorry, Elizabeth,&rdquo; Amy Klobuchar, who hasn&rsquo;t clicked in the polls, chimed in. &ldquo;I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we&rsquo;re gonna send the invoice.&rdquo;<br />\n The closest Warren came to responding was when she said, &ldquo;(C)osts will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down.&rdquo; She shows obvious relish in proposing a 3% wealth tax on the very rich as well as federal and worker oversight of large corporations. It&rsquo;s &ldquo;wokenomics,&rdquo; said liberal commentator Van Jones.</p>\n<p> BUT THAT &ldquo;urge to punish&rdquo; &mdash; a phrase from the New York Post&rsquo;s Michael Goodwin &mdash; can seem unattractive and may repel otherwise-liberal voters in the most affluent suburbs, where Sanders support flagged four years ago. &nbsp;<br />\n Going into the debate, Warren looked well positioned to gobble up votes that had gone to Sanders before his Oct. 1 heart attack. But while Warren was pushed on the defensive, Sanders spoke loudly and vigorously, and he&rsquo;s scheduled to be endorsed by freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar over the weekend. It looks like Warren will continue to face strong opposition from the socialist left.<br />\n Other Democrats were tussling over other issues that tend to pit one Democratic constituency against another. Cory Booker backed taxpayer-paid abortions while Tulsi Gabbard, echoing 1990s Bill Clinton, said abortion should be &ldquo;safe, legal and rare.&rdquo; Buttigieg, while rejecting Medicare for All, praised the assault weapons ban and called for packing the Supreme Court, which Biden loudly opposed.<br />\n For two generations, Democrats have been skeptical about many military interventions and usually supportive of free speech. At this debate, Biden and Buttigieg decried President Donald Trump&rsquo;s Syria troop withdrawal over Gabbard&rsquo;s strong disagreement. For reasons that remain unclear, Kamala Harris repeated her call for Twitter to close down Trump&rsquo;s account &mdash; something many Republicans wish had been done some time ago but that suggests a disturbing relish for suppressing speech. Joe Biden was questioned, gingerly, about his son Hunter Biden&rsquo;s $600,000 Ukrainian gas company gig &mdash; a subject Democrats and NBC anchors seem desperate to avoid.</p>\n<p> LAST WEEK, I wrote that Elizabeth Warren was the Democrats&rsquo; faute de mieux front-runner. We&rsquo;re still waiting to see who, if anyone, is mieux.</p>\n<p> Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.</p>\n', created = 1575837854, expire = 1575924254, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:cd7f145781ee514f235d5a318de4d8dd' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>ELIZABETH WARREN: October 11, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>Is Elizabeth Warren the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination? You can make a strong argument that the answer is yes. You can also argue that she is, at most, a default front-runner and a problematic general election nominee.</p>\n<p> AND YOU might reasonably conclude that both arguments taken together tell you some interesting things about the current state of the Democratic Party &mdash; the world&rsquo;s oldest political party.<br />\n Now, I&rsquo;m certainly not arguing with my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York, who wrote last week that Joe Biden is no longer the Democratic front-runner. Since then, Biden&rsquo;s lead over Warren in the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls has shrunk to 0.2%. On June 21, it was 20%.<br />\n Warren&rsquo;s admirers attribute her sharp poll rise over the last three weeks to her energetic campaigning, ranging from smiling for countless selfies to insisting &ldquo;I have a plan for that&rdquo; on countless issues. But she&rsquo;s also benefited from the problems of her opponents.<br />\n The Democrats&rsquo; case for impeachment inevitably highlights Biden&rsquo;s son&rsquo;s $50,000-a-month contract with a Ukrainian natural gas company while Vice President Biden was in charge of Ukraine policy. Bernie Sanders, 78, had a heart attack Oct. 1. Kamala Harris&rsquo; habit of sloppily taking stands she can&rsquo;t sustain has lowered her numbers from 15% to 5%. Pete Buttigieg&rsquo;s chipper articulateness has helped him raise millions, but his support peaked at 8% in May and June. Beto O&rsquo;Rourke and Cory Booker, the only other candidates ever above 5%, are now hovering around 2%.<br />\n That leaves Warren as, at most, the front-runner faute de mieux &mdash; and one who seems to have taken some lessons from the president she obviously detests, Donald Trump.<br />\n 1. Don&rsquo;t back down on even the diciest stands.<br />\n Her claim of Native American ancestry and her statement that she lost her teaching job because she was &ldquo;visibly pregnant&rdquo; don&rsquo;t seem well founded. And her insistence that the Ferguson cop committed &ldquo;murder&rdquo; is contradicted by the Obama Justice Department&rsquo;s thorough investigation of that tragedy.<br />\n 2. Take what many consider unpopular stands on issues.<br />\n Like many Democrats, Warren seems to have concluded that if a rule-breaking candidate like Trump can be elected president, then none of the old political rules apply anymore.<br />\n So, Warren has endorsed Medicare for All and eliminating private health insurance. She has said she&rsquo;d ban fracking for oil and natural gas. She has supported decriminalizing illegal border crossing, providing health care for illegals who get across and paying reparations to the descendants of slaves. She has ignored warnings by, among others, MSNBC&rsquo;s Steve Kornacki that such proposals are hugely unpopular and could be great fodder for Trump campaign ads.</p>\n<p> WARREN OBVIOUSLY hopes that her calls for federal overseeing of large corporations and her call for a 2% wealth tax on multimillionaires will resonate with nonaffluent Trump voters. But those voters seem more concerned with elites&rsquo; political correctness than convinced that Warren&rsquo;s proposal with send their way any money somehow mulcted from corporations. Oh, and the wealth tax is probably unconstitutional and, judging from European experience, mostly uncollectible.<br />\n Among Democratic primary voters, Warren has been scoring best with white college graduates &mdash; the core anti-Trump constituency &mdash; while lagging far behind among blacks and non-college whites. As Washington Post analyst David Byler tweeted, Warren&rsquo;s current constituency &ldquo;looks like media + their neighbors,&rdquo; and she &ldquo;matches an upscale idea of who POTUS should be.&rdquo; Even as she easily won reelection in Massachusetts last year, she ran well behind Hillary Clinton in &ldquo;beer Democrat&rdquo; constituencies.<br />\n All of which is not to say that Warren is a sure loser. Any Democratic nominee has a serious chance of beating Trump. But it says something interesting about the Democratic Party that its current three leading candidates are in their 70s and all are from overwhelmingly Democratic states (though Biden&rsquo;s Delaware was competitive before 2000).<br />\n Democratic activists seem to like it that way, as indicated by their fundraising. The party&rsquo;s contributors, surely tilted toward white college grads, seem to prefer the unusual over the conventional. Sanders and Warren, with their leftist platforms, led June-September fundraising, with about $25 million. Buttigieg outraised Biden. Andrew Yang outraised Booker and nearly outraised Harris. Marianne Williamson outraised Michael Bennet.</p>\n<p> AS FOR THE faute de mieux front-runner, the latest IBD/TIPP poll shows Warren leading Trump 48 to 46% &mdash; exactly the same popular vote lead Hillary Clinton had four years ago. Maybe there&rsquo;s an opening for some other candidate.</p>\n<p> Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.</p>\n', created = 1575837854, expire = 1575924254, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:7172a9b145fd4363b74fb6d2b394af5c' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>AMERICAN LIFE: October 4, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" /></p>\n<p>Underneath the clash and clang of controversy over presidential impeachment, public policy and personal initiative can slowly and seemingly imperceptibly improve life in America. That was the case two decades ago, amid the swirling arguments over the mostly party line impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton and the Senate&rsquo;s mostly party line refusal to remove him from office.</p>\n<p> THIS 1998-99 controversy occurred as conservative welfare and crime control reforms were vastly reducing &mdash; far more than their advocates had expected &mdash; welfare dependency and crime control in America&rsquo;s central cities.<br />\n These reforms were pioneered by then-Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and advanced mostly by Republicans but also by many Democrats. The Clinton 1994 crime package helped marginally, and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich successfully pushed federal welfare changes through Congress, which Clinton, after vetoing two versions, finally signed.<br />\n Today, beneath the clamor, one can find evidence of unexpected improvement. During the Trump presidency, manufacturing and blue-collar wages are up; income inequality is lessening; unemployment among blacks and Hispanics is at record lows; disability and food stamp rolls are sharply down; and non-college-graduate whites are making more economic gains than more educated whites.<br />\n All these trends are reversals of trends most experts thought would continue indefinitely. They look like fulfillment of President Trump&rsquo;s campaign promises and suggest that his policies &mdash; the tax cuts, trade protections, discouragement of low-skill immigration &mdash; have succeeded more than most predicted. Other things may have contributed &mdash; Obama policies, as some Democrats argue; the almost total end of low-skill Mexican immigration in 2007-08; and reduction in jobs offshored to China.&nbsp;<br />\n And something else, which has been widely ignored: &ldquo;black Americans have been making rapid progress along most important dimensions of well-being since the turn of the millennium,&rdquo; as Columbia undergraduate Coleman Hughes wrote in his latest article in the invaluable online magazine Quillette.<br />\n From 2001 to 2017, Hughes points out, the incarceration rate for black men ages 18 to 29 dropped by more than 55%. In those years, the birth rate among black women ages 15 to 19 declined 63%. Black life expectancy increased by some 3.6 years.<br />\n From 1999 to 2000 and 2016 to 2017, the number of blacks awarded bachelor&rsquo;s degrees rose 82%. A Federal Reserve survey showed 60% of blacks saying they are doing better financially than their parents.</p>\n<p> HUGHES NOTES that if you measure blacks&rsquo; achievements compared to those of whites, you might conclude that blacks are gaining ground. But he makes a powerful case for focusing on the improvements among blacks over time. We don&rsquo;t usually compare improvements (or, as we have seen recently, deteriorations) of white Americans&rsquo; behaviors by comparing them to other groups but rather by comparing them to the same group in the past.<br />\n And by that measure, the improvements in black Americans&rsquo; &mdash; especially young black Americans&rsquo; &mdash; behaviors over the last generation have been astounding. They&rsquo;re a refutation of the intellectual fashion in many quarters, set by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates several years ago, that blacks in an eternally racist America have always lived a nightmarish existence and always will.<br />\n Not so. The sharp reduction of violent crime and substance abuse among young blacks over the past 30 years resembles similar reductions among Irish immigrants and their children in the late 19th century.<br />\n How do we account for this enormous and beneficial change? It seems far from a coincidence that today&rsquo;s young blacks grew up in an America shaped by 1990s welfare and crime reform.<br />\n There&rsquo;s certainly evidence that children of single mothers do better when they see their parent as a self-sufficient working person rather than an idle welfare recipient. And it seems likely that adolescents growing up in neighborhoods with sharply reduced crime may be less likely to commit crimes themselves than those who came of age in the crack-infested neighborhoods of the late 1980s.<br />\n People tend to do what they think others expect, in two senses of the word: prescriptively (you should do this) and predictively (you&rsquo;re likely to do this). The 1990s reforms set higher prescriptive expectations and produced higher predictive expectations. Barack Obama, with his professional competence and faithfulness to family, was surely a helpful role model.</p>\n<p> THE LESSON is that no matter how nasty politics gets, life on the ground can get better, indeed much better, than almost anyone predicted, with help from good policies and motivated personal effort.</p>\n<p> Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.<br />\n &nbsp;</p>\n', created = 1575837854, expire = 1575924254, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:94272d99eda0a59487f582caa86fc1d3' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>This Week&#39;s Conservative Focus . . . Impeachment</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Barone.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>Precedents abound in a country whose first presidential election took place 230 years ago, that has seen 41 presidential contests between two political parties founded 187 and 165 years ago. Three of our 44 presidents have faced impeachment proceedings &mdash; Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton &mdash; and now it seems Donald Trump will be the fourth.</p>\n<p> DEMOCRATS HAVE been itching to oust Trump from office since the 9 p.m. Eastern hour on election night nearly three years ago, when it became clear he had been elected. High law enforcement and intelligence officials started trying to keep him from the White House starting months earlier and for three years pushed the theory that he and his campaign were acting in collusion with Russia, even though they had little evidence aside from a dossier full of Russia-supplied hearsay, whose lurid claims were never verified.<br />\n Collusiongate finally collapsed, in the words of New York Times editor Dean Baquet, &ldquo;the day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand,&rdquo; when &ldquo;our readers who want Donald Trump to go away&rdquo; realized that wasn&rsquo;t going to happen.<br />\n So, now, weeks before the promised release of inspector general reports on law enforcement misconduct, we hear that a whistleblower had been told Trump abused his powers in a telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump announced he would release the transcript, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the Democratic-majority House was officially considering impeachment.<br />\n The transcript released Wednesday doesn&rsquo;t read exactly as the still-anonymous whistleblower had claimed. Trump asked the newly installed Ukrainian president to investigate 2016 anti-Trump efforts there. Democrats claimed Trump offered a quid pro quo by suggesting he&rsquo;d released U.S. aid he&rsquo;d been holding up. But Trump said nothing about that. Given the American president&rsquo;s broad powers, any request the president makes of a foreign government could be called a threat.<br />\n Trump also mentioned Joe Biden&rsquo;s son Hunter Biden, who had a $50,000-a-month contract with a Ukraine firm. And he adverted to the elder Biden&rsquo;s public boast that as vice president, he threatened to deny Ukraine $1 billion in aid if the government didn&rsquo;t fire the prosecutor investigating the firm.<br />\n On Collusiongate, Democrats followed the Nixon precedent, allowing a special prosecutor and congressional committees to conduct long investigations, with numerous leaks to sympathetic media. That produced evidence that made impeachment certain, and Nixon resigned. But Collusiongate didn&rsquo;t follow precedent.</p>\n<p> NOW DEMOCRATS seem to be following the Andrew Johnson precedent. Johnson&rsquo;s Republican critics hated him for obstructing equal rights for free blacks and for his vitriolic and scurrilous oratory. Proceedings began on Feb. 24, 1868. The House voted for impeachment on March 3, and on May 16, the Senate voted 35-19 against him, 1 vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to remove him from office.<br />\n So, Democrats&rsquo; course is, as my Washington Examiner colleague Byron York puts it: &ldquo;Move fast. Don&rsquo;t withhold judgment. And don&rsquo;t wait for the results of a long, ponderous investigation.&rdquo; Pelosi seems primed to push for a quick vote as soon as 218 yeas are in sight. But in the 53-47 Republican Senate, absent new facts or changed public opinion, there are far fewer votes for removal than in 1868.<br />\n Current polling shows voters oppose impeachment by nearly 2-1 margins, similar to when Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998. Both parties thought impeachment would help them politically. Clinton&rsquo;s job approval rose sharply, but his personal ratings slumped badly. The former helped keep him in office, while the latter hobbled his chosen successor, Al Gore, two years later.<br />\n Speaker Newt Gingrich forecast big Republican gains, but they actually lost four seats in November 1998, and Gingrich lost his speakership. But Republicans held onto their House majority that year and in the next three congressional elections.<br />\n Those largely positive results reflect late 1990s contentment and the fact that both parties had intellectually serious arguments in line with their values. Republicans argued that Clinton&rsquo;s lies in a federal court proceeding violated his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws. Democrats argued that his offense was only a personal matter unrelated to his official duties.</p>\n<p> DONALD TRUMP&rsquo;S support has remained impervious to charges of personal or professional misconduct, just as his detractors remain impervious to claims that his policies have been successful. What could hurt Democrats in times of discontent, when impeachment is unpopular, is their opportunism in seizing on any excuse to vent their rage. The Ukrainian phone call is much smaller potatoes than collusion with Russia would have been.<br />\n But Democrats &ldquo;who want Donald Trump to go away&rdquo; just couldn&rsquo;t wait to let voters make that choice. They risk four more years of angry frustration.</p>\n<p> <em>Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for the Washington Examiner, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and longtime co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.</em></p>\n<p> September 27, 2019</p>\n', created = 1575837854, expire = 1575924254, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:56e32478d92237489d6b711a67c846bd' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
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Michael Barone

11/30/2019 - 10:11pm
FAIRNESS: November 29, 2019 It’s Thanksgiving week in a country whose warring political tribes are not much inclined to giving thanks. But any American with a reasonable historic perspective can easily find reasons to do so. FOR ONE thing, it’s clear that we are a much fairer nation than we were in the past. Women, black Americans, immigrants and minorities of any perceptible kind...
10/23/2019 - 12:14pm
This week's Conservative Focus . . . Democratic Debate The world’s oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That’s a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every...
10/20/2019 - 10:35pm
DEMOCRATIC DEBATE: October 18, 2019 The world’s oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That’s a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every presidential election...
10/11/2019 - 5:05pm
ELIZABETH WARREN: October 11, 2019 Is Elizabeth Warren the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination? You can make a strong argument that the answer is yes. You can also argue that she is, at most, a default front-runner and a problematic general election nominee. AND YOU might reasonably conclude that both arguments taken together...
10/07/2019 - 5:11pm
AMERICAN LIFE: October 4, 2019 Underneath the clash and clang of controversy over presidential impeachment, public policy and personal initiative can slowly and seemingly imperceptibly improve life in America. That was the case two decades ago, amid the swirling arguments over the mostly party line impeachment of then-President Bill Clinton and...
10/02/2019 - 11:47am
This Week's Conservative Focus . . . Impeachment Precedents abound in a country whose first presidential election took place 230 years ago, that has seen 41 presidential contests between two political parties founded 187 and 165 years ago. Three of our 44 presidents have faced impeachment proceedings — Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and...
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